There are two basic types of baby gates -- pressure and hardware-mounted. Pressure gates are designed to be set in between a doorway or hallway opening. Using them to close off the opening of a stairway can pose a danger to infants, since the gates can be easily pushed over. Hardware-mounted gates affix with actual screws to the wall and banister. Your infant will not be able to push them over.
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There are many companies that produce hardware-mounted baby gates, including Evenflo, Dream Baby and Kidco. Each of these companies produces several different types of hardware-mounted baby gates that vary in size and look and are made from different materials.
Selecting a Baby Gate
Wide stairway openings require an extra-wide baby gate. Measure your stairway opening prior to purchasing a baby gate. Many baby gates come no wider than 42 inches. Baby gates also come in a variety of heights. The gate should be no lower than 3/4 of your child's height. Baby gates are also made from a range of materials, including wood, plastic and metal, and come in a host of different colours to go with your interior or stairway.
Baby gates will mount to the wall and banister, and are designed to be installed in a wood surface. If the wall is not framed in wood, you will need to prepare the surface with a kit. Preferably, the mounting kit should be screwed into a stud, if no stud is available, use a wall anchor. Additional supplies may be required to attach the baby gate to a stairway post that is not square or flat.
You can purchase extensions for baby gates, if your stairway is extra wide. In addition, you might need to purchase a gate mounting kit to secure gates to a wall that is not framed with wood, doesn't have a stud, or to a banister that is round rather than flat. A mounting kit will include anchors to secure the gate to these types of surfaces.
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